The first year of your baby's life is a magical and transformative time, filled with incredible growth and development. It's a period that goes by in the blink of an eye, leaving you with precious memories and milestones to cherish. To make the most of this precious time, we've compiled a list of 10 must-do things with your baby before they turn 1. These activities will not only help you bond with your little one but also support their physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Let's dive in!
1. Capture Milestone Moments of baby:
Your baby's first year is packed with significant milestones, from their first smile to their first steps. Document these special moments by taking plenty of photos and videos. Create a dedicated photo album or a digital gallery to preserve these memories. You'll be amazed at how quickly they change and grow, and having these visual reminders will be priceless in the years to come.
2. Explore Nature Together:
Introduce your baby to the wonders of the natural world by taking them on outdoor adventures. Visit local parks, gardens, or nearby forests, allowing them to experience fresh air, sunlight, and the sights and sounds of nature. Even a simple walk in the neighborhood can provide opportunities for sensory stimulation and discovery. Travel with your baby! You will be making memories together!
3. Engage in Sensory Play with your baby:
Babies learn through their senses, so incorporating sensory play into their routine is crucial. Create a sensory bin with safe objects of various textures, colors, and shapes. Let them explore different materials like water, sand, and soft fabrics. Sensory play stimulates their cognitive development, fine motor skills, and enhances their understanding of the world around them.
Plop them in a tub, give them a sensory item like rice which is safe and not a choking hazard along with few cups and spoons and watch them get busy!
4. Try out new fun recipes:
We introduce baby to solid food after 6 months so this is a great time to experiment on what your baby enjoys to eat! I have baked whole wheat teething biscuits and healthy cookies when my baby was that age! Give your baby different tastes and textures and watch how they react! Its adorable to watch their eyes go wide when they love a food and their eye brows frown when they dont like the taste! Its okay to allow the baby to self feed! Learn about baby led weaning to know how to do this safely!
5. Read Together:
It's never too early to introduce your baby to the joy of reading. Choose age-appropriate books with vibrant illustrations, textures, and simple stories. Reading aloud to your baby promotes language development, stimulates their imagination, and fosters a lifelong love for books. Make it a daily ritual before bedtime or during quiet moments throughout the day.
Baby will just love listening to your voice and look at the pictures! Choose books that have big pictures and make exaggerated facial expressions and voice modulations while reading and watch your baby squeal with laughter!! Watch out though, your baby might be teething and might want to chew the books!
PS: There are books specifically made for teething babies. You might want to get those!
6. Music and Movement:
Expose your baby to various types of music and engage in simple movement activities together. Sing lullabies, play soothing melodies, or dance around the room. Music enhances your baby's auditory skills, language development, and rhythm. Movement activities like gentle bouncing or baby yoga help strengthen their muscles and improve coordination.
Let your baby explore musical instruments like a light up piano or drums. There are any cost effective ones available now and they are sure to delight your baby!
Your baby also loves your voice so don't shy away from singing to them!
7. Plan fun bath time:
This is by far my favorite! My baby would play in the bath tub long enough to enjoy my hot cup of tea. Every baby reacts different to bath though. Mine loved bath so i made this super fun! A bath tub with foam, some sensory toys, cups and spoons and baby was occupied happily! Keep an eye on your baby though and make sure the toys are all not choking hazards. I had an elaborate bath routine where we would wind down after the bath with divine smelling moisturizer and fresh clothes and my baby would sleep off in no time!
8. Create a Safe Play Space:
This one is a game changer! We struggled to create this space initially but as we finally executed this, we couldn't be happier! Designate a safe area at home where your baby can freely explore and play. Baby-proof the space by removing any potential hazards and provide age-appropriate toys that encourage exploration, fine motor skills, and problem-solving. This safe play zone allows your baby to develop their independence and helps them discover their surroundings at their own pace. Take inspiration from Montessori play rooms to figure out how to di this!
9. Cherish Quiet moments:
This one makes me emotional everytime! In the first year we are struggling so much with sleep deprivation and sleep regressions that we focus on their sleep routines and waking times more than anything! Remember to hold them for naps when you can and enjoy those baby snuggles! Smell their heads and feel their little body sleeping on your chest! There is nothing quite as precious and calming! In those few minutes enjoy just being with your baby and being quiet in the moment. Everything else can wait. Enjoy this time before baby starts walking and moving away!
10. Get a professional photoshoot with baby:
We all get maternity photoshoot done so how can we leave behind baby photoshoot! If you are in two minds about this, here is your sign to go ahead! Get a photographer now and take those pictures before baby turns 1! They look adorable in their outfits and its time for you to shine as well mommy! Dress up in gorgeous dresses which are nursing friendly so you don't have to compromise on style! I promise when you look back, you will cherish these amazing memories of your little baby!